Articles / Larin, Paraske (1883/34-1904), a narrator of runes

Larin, Paraske (1883/34-1904), a narrator of runes

Subject / Ethnic culture/Personnel
Subject / Ethnic culture//

Paraske Larin or Praskovia Nikitichna (Larina-Stepanova, née Nikitina) (1833/34, the Saint Petersburg Gubernia - 1904, Vaskela Village of the Vyborg Gubernia) was an Izhorian singer of runes and narrator. She was born in Miskyulya Village (it's the same as Miiskunmyaki, it doesn't exist now) near Lembolovo in the family of serfs. In 1853 she married a native of Finland Gavrila Stepanov (the same as Larilan Kaurila) and was bought out serfdom. She moved to Vaskela Village (now it's Lugovoye Village of Priozersk District) where there was a farm of her husband called Larila or Larin tupa (Larin's izba). She worked at boat lifting on the Taipalenyoki River (now it's Burnaya River). Paraske Larin's abilities of singer showed themselves when she was young. In 1877 the first runes performed by Paraske Larin were written down by the folklorist A.A.Borenius-Lahteenkorva. In 1887 the famous Finnish historiographer and folklorist, pastor A.Neovius made the acquaintance of Paraske Larin. During lots of years of working together Neovius wrote down 1200 runes of Paraske Larin (songs of the metre of Kalevala), 1750 proverbs and sayings, 338 riddles, old lamentations. In 1893 he published the first book of these texts. From 1891 to 1893 Paraske Larin lived in Neovius's family in Borgo (now Porvoo), came to Helsinki where she performed in front of the wide audience with success. A.Edelfelt, E.Järnefelt painted her portraits. Paraske Larin's total heritage was 32 thousand runic verses performed from memory. She was named Karelian (or Finnish) Mnemosyne. In 1893 she returned to Vaskela Village where she lived in poverty. She was buried in the Orthodox cemetery between Palkeala and Riykola villages (now Zamostye Village in Priozersk District). In 1911 on the grave of Paraske Larin the Youth Society of South Karelia set up the monument which was destroyed in the postwar years; in 1992 a new monument was set up. In 1950 a monument to Paraske Larin (by the sculptor A.Sailo) was also set up in Helsinki. In 1983 in Finland a post stamp with the portrait of Paraske Larin was printed. In the end of the 1980s the composer B.D.Napreyev dedicated his opera "Trostnikovaya svirel" ("A Reed Pipe") to Paraske Larin (the author of the libretto is A.I.Mishin; it was staged in Turku and Joensuu in 1991-92). In 2004 in the town of Priozersk the scientific and educational conference devoted to Paraske Larin's creativity was held.

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Borenius-Lahteenkorva, Aksel August
Edelfelt, Albert
Hirn, Yuryo
Larin, Paraske
Mishin, Armas (Oleg) Iosifovich
Napreyev, Boris Dmitriyevich
Neovius, Adolf
Sailo, Alpo
Stepanov, Gavrila
Yaenefelt, Eero

Topographical landmarks/Burnaya River, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vsevolozhsk District/Lembolovo Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Priozersk District/Lugovoye Settlement
Leningrad Oblast, the/Priozersk District/Priozersk Town
Historical Toponyms/Saint Petersburg Gubernia, the
Historical Toponyms/Vyborg Gubernia/Vaskela Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Priozersk District/Zamostye Village

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Мутанен П. Народная книга Ларин Параске // Альманах библиофила. М., 1985. Вып. XIX., С.184-192
"Нет родной сторонки краше...".СПб., 2006., С.184-192